clothing brands that look expensive but aren't

8 Clothing Brands That Look Expensive (But Aren’t)

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Who doesn’t want to achieve a luxe look on a budget? As we don’t all have the bank balance of a Kardashian, our wardrobes have to fit into our monthly budget. Thankfully, you don’t need to buy luxury brands like Gucci or Chanel to look expensive! Here are the top 8 clothing brands that look expensive but aren’t (hallelujah!). Shopping at these brands will help you get an elevated look without having to rob a bank. 😉

8 Clothing Brands That Look Expensive But Aren’t

1. H&M

You might be shocked to know that even royals shop at H&M! Meghan Markle chose the high-street brand for several of her maternity looks while she was a working royal. If you’re a fan of the Duchess of Cambridge’s style, then H&M is the go-to place for replicating her look. 

For those looking to get the most bang for their money, keep an eye out for H&M’s designer collaborations. They have created collections in partnership with everyone from Giambattista Valli, Versace, Erdem, and Moschino. These collaborations sell out in the blink of an eye but allow you to get a taste of luxury at an H&M price tag.

2. Zara

Is a fashion brand list ever complete without mentioning Zara? It’s one brand that dominates the affordable yet high-end inspired fashion space, and every season there are multiple must-have pieces. If you didn’t have that white and black polka dot dress from 2019, then you’ll know someone who does. 

The trick to creating an expensive-looking outfit is to use a neutral color palette – not to wear head to toe designer monograms, despite what some people think. Zara offers everything you need to build an expensive-looking outfit. You can find structured Balmain inspired blazers, camel coats, silk/satin pieces, and more!

& Other Stories is the rich aunt to H&M. The price tag is closer to Zara than H&M, with the store offering tailored looking pieces and timeless accessories like gold statement jewelry and blazers. & Other Stories brings together timeless style and the current trends with monochrome outfits that give you an expensive look on a budget.

Don’t sleep on the accessories here if you’re on a tight budget! When you know how to accessorize, you can elevate any outfit, even a tracksuit or athleisure look. You’ll want to shop at their shoe section that offers you everything from the classic Chelsea boot to a faux snakeskin shoe. 

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4. Mango

Mango is a hidden gem when it comes to workwear and dresses. If you want a piece that you know all your friends won’t also be wearing, then Mango is perfect. One of the main drawbacks of brands like Zara and H&M is the popularity of their pieces. You could be walking down the street when someone turns to you and says, “I have that same Zara dress!”

Overall, Mango is at a budget-friendly price point that sits mid-way between H&M and Zara. You can get a turtleneck for $30 but expect to pay $200+ for something like a coat. However, the brand offers everything you need from floor-length gowns for a formal wedding to your new favorite t-shirt to curl up in to watch Netflix!

Mango’s unique selling point is their blazers and suits – all of which look considerably more expensive than their price tag. You can purchase everything from a Chanel-esque tweed blazer to a monochrome pantsuit. 

5. Topshop

Topshop is one brand that prides itself on having its finger on the fashion pulse. If you’re curious about the latest trends, have a look at what’s waiting to greet you at the front of a Topshop store. The brand is infamous for their jeans, which are considered some of the best fitting jeans that you can get on a budget!

As well as offering their own brand, Topshop carries some of the most recognizable brands in everyday fashion, including Champion, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger. 

6. Pull & Bear

Pull & Bear is Zara’s little sister store. They focus more on streetwear than the feminine designs and tailoring that you would expect to see from Zara. The Pull & Bear color palette is fairly neutral, with a focus on denim and earth tones. If you want to build a versatile monochrome wardrobe, then Pull & Bear is the perfect fashion brand for you! 

At this store, you’ll find classic riding boots, vintage-inspired cardigans, and blouses with statement sleeves. 

7. Uniqlo

When it comes to buying timeless basics, look no further than Uniqlo! The brand is synonymous with its minimalistic designs that make even their basic t-shirts appear expensive. 

One key to creating an expensive-looking outfit is to get the basics right. If you look at photographs of Jackie Kennedy or Audrey Hepburn, you’ll find that they mostly wore simplistic outfits, that focus on material and design over brand names. You’ll rarely find an expensive-looking look that incorporates tons of monograms and logos. Uniqlo is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to create that luxury look on a budget. The Japanese brand offers collaborations with everyone from Alexander Wang to J.W Anderson.

8. FashionNova

Personally, I think a lot of FashionNova clothes can look too “clubby”, but they sure know how to take the hot looks of celebrities and make them accessible to those on a budget.

Do you want the dress that Kim Kardashian just posted on her Instagram? Chances are FashionNova has something similar! Everyone from Kylie Jenner to Adrienne Bailon has FashionNova pieces in their wardrobes. The brand has released two collections in collaboration with Cardi B, who is one celebrity that is always spotted wearing FashionNova too. 

If your fashion style takes inspiration from the Kardashian-Jenner clan, or you’re a fan of staying ahead of the trends, then FashionNova is your go-to store. If you’re willing to dig a little, then you can find some classic looking pieces that are very affordable to fit your personal timeless style.

Even if you don’t have a lot to spend, when you shop strategically, you can find things at budget-friendly places that you’ll want in your wardrobe for years to come.

Now that you know the clothing brands to shop at that look expensive, now it’s time to check out this post of tips on how to put those items together so you can look elevated and expensive!

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Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.